RSP Home River Severn Tales Chris Witts

NOTABLE DATES IN THE HISTORY OF THE RIVER SEVERN

    YEAR     LOCATION                                                             TOPIC

0897   Upton upon Severn    King Coenwulf mentions the foundation of the town

0973   Newtown                 Newtown came into existence. It was known as Llanfair in Cedewain

1154   Gloucester               Construction began on the first Westgate Bridge

1171   Newnham on Severn  King Henry II sailed from Newnham on Severn for Ireland

1189   Gloucester               Construction completed on the first Westgate Bridge

1210   Gloucester               Severn frozen over for up to four miles above Gloucester

1230   Gloucester               First bridge at Maisemore recorded

1280   Llanidloes                Foundation stone for town laid, the first town on the River Severn

1457   Newnham on Severn  Records show that a ferry was here in 1457

1460   Gloucester               Ashleworth Court built

1460   Gloucester               Ashleworth Manor built

1483   Gloucester               Duke of Buckingham’s flood at Gloucester

1515   Gloucester               Tithe barn built at Ashleworth

1553   Severn                    King Henry VIII prohibited the taking out of elvers from the Severn

1558   Severn                    Queen Elizabeth I made the elver prohibition order permanent

1580   Gloucester               Queen Elizabeth I grants Gloucester a Port Status

1605   Upton upon Severn    Stone bridge built across the river at Upton upon Severn

1607   Severn Estuary         Large tide, heavy rain resulted in disastrous floods on the lower Severn

1638   Coalbrookdale           Furnace constructed by Basil Brooke at Coalbrookdale

1643   Ripple                     The Parliamentarians defeated in battle

1644   Newnham on Severn  17 soldiers drown in Severn whilst crossing river in a boat

1651   Upton upon Severn    Fierce battle fought on the 29th August in Ripple field

1677   Severn                    King Charles II also banned fishing for elvers from the Severn

1678   Bristol                     Abraham Darby I born

1709   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby I transfers his business from Bristol to Coalbrookdale

1711   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby II born

1713   Shrewsbury             John Gwynn born

1717   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby I died

1723   Quatt                     Sir John Wolryche died near Quatt whilst swimming with horse in Severn

1750   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby III born

1757   Eskdale                   Thomas Telford born

1763   Gloucester               Timber company of Price-Walker Ltd established

1763   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby II died

1768   Atcham                   John Gwynn's bridge preserved as a monument

1770   Severn                    30 years of rain during this period

1774   Shrewsbury              English Bridge built [Completely rebuilt between 1925 & 1927]

1775   Llandrinio                 Llandrinio Bridge built

1775   Ironbridge                First meeting held to discuss a river bridge

1778   Severn                    King George II allows elvers to be taken from Severn

1779   Ironbridge                Construction began on the world's first Iron Bridge

1780   Coalport                  First wharf built at Coalport

1780   Coalport                  Wooden bridge built over the Severn at Coalport

1781   Ironbridge                Iron Bridge opened to traffic on 1st January

1781   Worcester               Worcester Bridge opened [rebuilt 1847 & 1932]

1785   Gloucester               8 people drowned from ferry at Maisemore after day out at fete

1786   Shrewsbury              John Gwynn died

1786   Coalport                  Tar Tunnel at Coalport dug out

1786   Severn                    Royal Humane Society formed due to high death rate on Severn

1787   Severn                    First iron barge, The Trial, built by Mad Iron Wilkinson launched on Severn

1789   Coalbrookdale           Abraham Darby III died

1790   Powys                     Thomas Penson born

1792   Gloucester               Gloucester Prison opened. Build work had begun in 1787

1792   Montford                 Thomas Telford's first bridge opened in Montford, Shropshire

1793   Gloucester               Construction of Gloucester & Berkeley Canal authorised by Parliament

1793   Gloucester               Construction began of the building the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal

1793   Coalport                  Hay Incline Plane opened at Coalport, Shropshire

1793   Shropshire               Shropshire Canal opened

1794   Gloucester               Work began on building the Gloucester Dock basin

1794   Coalport                  Coalport established as a village

1795   Severn                    February 11th is the highest flood the River Severn has experienced

1795   Shrewsbury             Welsh Bridge opened

1795   Coalport                  Coalport Bridge damaged by floods

1796   Buildwas                  New bridge designed by Thomas Telford built at Buildwas

1799   Gloucester               Lack of money meant work ceased on building the Gloucester & Berkeley                                        Canal

1799   Gloucester               Construction of Gloucester Dock main basin completed

1799   Coalport                  28 china workers drowned in Severn at Coalport whilst crossing the river on                                        ferry

1801   Bewdley                  Bewdley Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, opened

1802   Newnham on Severn  Fare paying ferry began from Newnham on Severn to Arlingham

1809   Severn                    A very serious flood recorded

1809   Newnham on Severn  3 men drowned in river off Newnham on Severn

1809   Gloucester               The old Westgate Bridge demolished. Construction began of new one

1810   Bullo Pill                   Bullo Pill Dock opened for the export of Forest of Dean coal

1810   Lydney                    Lydney Docks developed as a port

1810   Newnham on Severn  A scheme was proposed for the construction of a tunnel under the Severn                                        at Newnham

1810   Bridgnorth                Bridgnorth Bridge rebuilt to a design by Thomas Telford. [Also rebuilt in                                        1960]

1810   Coalport                  Chain making began at Coalport

1812   Gloucester               Gloucester Lock opened from dock basin into the River Severn

1812   Newnham on Severn  On Friday 13th November water broke into the tunnel workings

1813   Lydney                    Lydney canal built

1817   Gloucester               Work began again on building the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal with Telford                                         as consultant

1817   Severn                    Sir John Fowler born

1818   Severn                    Severn flooded 5 times and longest drought on record in the UK

1818   Tewkesbury             In separate accidents 2 Naval Officers and a small boy drowned in the                                        Severn at Tewkesbury

1818   Gloucester               Small drydock constructed in Gloucester Docks

1818   Coalport                  Coalport Bridge built on the original wooden structure of 1777

1818   Coalport                  Coalport Bridge now constructed of iron

1821   Lydney                    Tidal Basin built at Lydney Docks

1821   Newtown                 Montgomeryshire Canal reached Newtown, where it terminated

1821   Caersws                  Stone bridge built at Caersws, Powys

1824   Gloucester               Barge Arm opened in Gloucester Docks

1826   Gloucester               North Warehouse built. Once occupied by Priday Metford & Co

1826   Llanidloes                Long Bridge built of stone at Llanidloes

1826   Tewkesbury             Mythe Bridge has early construction problems. Thomas Telford brought in to                                        assist

1827   Gloucester               Building of the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal completed

1827   Newtown                 Long Bridge, designed by Thomas Penson, opened at Newtown

1828   Holt                        Holt Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, opened

1830   Gloucester               Biddles Warehouse built

1831   Gloucester               Thomas Telford's famous Over Bridge opened at Gloucester. Now preserved                                         as a monument

1833   Gloucester               Shiptons Warehouse built

1834   Gloucester               Lock Warehouse built. Now occupied by the Antiques Centre

1834   Gloucester               The Pump House, near the drydocks, was built

1834   Severn                    Thomas Telford died

1838   Gloucester               Pillar Warehouse built

1839   Aust                       Aust ferry sank with all hands lost

1840   Gloucester               Reynolds, [or Sturges] Warehouse built

1840   Gloucester               Vinings Warehouse built

1843   Llandinam                The first iron bridge built in Montgomeryshire. Designed by Thomas Penson

1844   Bevere                    Bevere Island Bridge built in Worcestershire

1845   Gloucester               Customs House built in Commercial Road

1846   Gloucester               Phillpotts Warehouse built

1846   Gloucester               Kimberley Warehouse built

1846   Gloucester               Herbert Warehouse built

1848   Gloucester               Offices located at top of Commercial Road built

1848   Arlingham                On the 29th August the vicar of Arlingham drowned at the age of 40 years                                        old

1848   Shrewsbury              Railway Station built on top of Bridge over Severn

1849   Gloucester               Victoria Basin opened in Gloucester Docks

1849   Gloucester               Weighbridge house in Southgate Street built

1849   Gloucester               Mariners Church in the docks built

1849   Gloucester               Victoria Warehouse built

1851   Gloucester               Albert Warehouse built

1852   Severn                    Serious widespread flood recorded

1852   Gloucester               Llanthony Quay built for the Gloucester & Dean Forest Railway

1852   Abermule                 The Brynderwen Bridge, designed by Thomas Penson, opened

1853   Gloucester               The large drydock built in Gloucester Docks

1855   Newnham on Severn  Elijah Rowles Phillips drowned in the Severn [see also 1875]

1858   Tewkesbury             Upper Lode Lock built

1859   Powys                     Thomas Penson died

1859   Newtown                 Newtown to Llanidloes Railway completed

1861   Gloucester               Britannia Warehouse built

1861   Upper Arley              Victoria Railway Bridge now used by the Severn Valley Steam Railway

1861   Coalport                  L&NWR Railway opened at Coalport

1862   Gloucester               Foster Oil & Cake Mill built

1862   Gloucester               The original Llanthony Bridge built

1863   Gloucester               Great Western Warehouse built

1864   Bewdley                  First train passed over Dowles Bridge on the 5th August

1864   Saxons Lode            Railway line opened on the 16th May

1866   Newnham on Severn  Henry Brace aged 18yrs drowned in the Severn on the 28th June

1868   Caersws                  Train derailed at Caersws falling into Severn killing driver and fireman

1869   Gloucester               Albert Warehouse converted to a flour mill

1870   Gloucester               Alexandra Warehouse built

1870   Gloucester               Llanthony Lock Keepers house built

1871   Gloucester               Maisemore Weir built

1871   Gloucester               Llanthony Weir built

1872   Severn                    Constant rain produced serious flooding

1873   Gloucester               Llanthony Warehouse built

1873   Severn Estuary         Construction began of the Severn Railway Tunnel

1873   Severn                    Elver fishing banned causing a public outcry

1874   Sharpness               Sharpness [New] Docks opened

1875   Newnham on Severn  2 brothers drowned in Severn, [brothers of Elijah Rowles Phillips, see 1855]

1875   Sharpness                Foundation stone of new Railway Bridge laid on the 3rd July

1876   Severn                    Act of Parliament passed to allow elver fishing in the Severn

1878   Sharpness                First fatality on the Severn Railway Bridge. John Tomkins of Ruardean died                                        on the 8th January

1879   Sharpness                William Aston of Lydney killed on the 1st March on the Severn Railway                                         Bridge

1879   Sharpness                Thomas Roberts of Viney Hill killed on the 3rd June on the Severn Railway                                         Bridge

1879   Gatcombe                Thomas Shaw was drowned when his boat overturned in the Severn

1879   Sharpness                First train travelled over the Severn Railway Bridge with a private party on                                         board

1879   Sharpness                The Severn Railway Bridge was officially opened on the 17th October

1886   Gloucester               Priday Metford & Co began milling in the City Flour Mills

1886   Severn Estuary         The Severn Railway Tunnel was opened with a length of 4.75 miles long

1887   Sharpness                Sailing ship PRINCE VICTOR lost off Sharpness with cargo of oil

1888   Gloucester               Gloucester Quay wall built

1889   Newnham on Severn  2 boys aged 7yrs & 9yrs drowned in the Severn on the 17th July

1892   Gloucester               Gloucester Lock deepened for the use by larger vessels

1892   Gloucester               Monk Meadow Dock built

1892   Newnham on Severn  George T Widdows aged 13yrs drowned in the Severn

1898   Severn                    Sir John Fowler died

1899   Gloucester               Downings Malt House built

1900   Gloucester               GWR Railway line at Hempsted opened

1907   Coalport                  The interchange at Coalport of the Shropshire Canal with the Severn closed

1907   Coalport                  Hay Incline Plane closed

1910   Naval                      HMS GLOUCESTER commissioned

1910   Sharpness               Sharpness [Old] Dock ceased to be used

1912   Ironbridge                Blists Hill furnace closed

1916   Frampton on Severn  Cadbury's factory at Frampton on Severn opened

1916   Newtown                 Newtown badly flooded

1919   Gloucester               Construction of concrete ships began at Hempsted, the CRETERAMPART,                                        etc.

1922   Naval                      HMS GLOUCESTER scrapped and bell presented to the city on 28th January

1922   Gloucester               Construction ceased of concrete ships at Hempsted

1922   Newtown                 Newtown again badly affected by floods

1922   Jackfield                  Jackfield footbridge opened

1923   Severn                    Act of Parliament passed prohibiting the spearing of freshwater fish in the                                        Severn

1924   Gloucester               Last vessel passed through Llanthony Lock

1925   Gloucester               First cargo of petroleum came to Gloucester by barge

1926   Bullo                       Pill Bullo Pill Dock ceased trading

1926   Severn                    All worked stopped on the river during the General Strike

1926   Coalport                  Coalport China Works closed

1927   Worcester                Petroleum began to be transported to Worcester and Stourport by barge

1927   Newtown                 Parsons Bridge swept away by floods

1928   Aust                       Storm carried away pier at Aust. Ferry service in decline

1929   Severn                    John Harker Limited began trading on the Severn with the JANET A

1930   Ironbridge                Iron Bridge closed to traffic

1933   Newtown                 Work began on rebuilding Parson's Bridge

1935   Severn                    Severn & Canal Carrying Co began carrying petroleum products on their                                        barges

1936   Newtown                 Newtown badly flooded

1937   Ripple                     100 acres of land at Ripple used by the RAF for storage of petroleum

1937   Gloucester               GWR Railway line at Hempsted closed

1938   Haw Bridge              Torso discovered 10th January in Severn at Haw Bridge

1939   Gloucester               John Harker Ltd and the Severn & Canal Carrying Co formed Gloucester                                         Shipyard

1939   Severn Estuary         Three tanker barges hit the Severn Railway Bridge. 6 men killed

1940   Gloucester               Construction began of the new Castle Meads Power Station

1941   Naval                      HMS GLOUCESTER lost in action off Crete

1946   Severn Estuary         Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust started with Sir Peter Scott

1946   Sharpness               Sharpness Shipyard started by John Harker Limited

1947   Ironbridge                Worst floods recorded at the Ironbridge Gorge

1947   Severn                    3 months of snow and freezing conditions. Then quick thaw produced worst                                        flooding on Severn

1948   Gloucester               DARLEYDALE H, [tanker barge], lengthened at Gloucester Shipyard

1949   Severn Estuary        Grain barge FOX ELMS hit Severn Railway Bridge and sank.

1950   Severn                    Severn River Board formed from the defunct Catchment Board

1950   Ironbridge               Tolls removed from the Iron Bridge

1952   Coalport                  Last passenger train from Coalport on the L&NWR

1952   Jackfield                  Jackfield Tile Works closed

1954   Gloucestershire         Stroudwater Canal closed

1958   Tirley                      Haw Bridge knocked down by tanker barge DARLEYDALE H. Skipper killed

1960   Newtown                 Newtown again suffered disastrous floods

1960   Sharpness               On the 25th October two tanker barges ran into the Severn Railway Bridge                                        killing 5 crew men

1961   Severn Estuary         Tanker barge BP EXPLORER overturned killing 5 crewmen

1962   Gloucester               Priday Metford vacated North Warehouse and allowed to deteriorate

1963   Severn                    Severn River Board took delivery of their new barge RIPARIAN

1963   Ironbridge                The GWR at Ironbridge closed

1964   Powys                    Construction began of the Clywedog Dam

1964   Newtown                 Newtown suffering from yet more flooding

1965   Gloucester               New timber yards built at Monk Meadow Quay

1966   Newtown                 Severn River Authority begin a flood defence scheme for the town

1967   Powys                     Construction of the Clywedog Dam completed

1967   Sharpness                Training ship VINDICATRIX towed away for scrapping at Newport

1968   Severn                    9th and 10th July 125mm of rain fell causing local flooding

1968   Oldbury                   Oldbury Nuclear Power Station began producing electricity for the National                                        Grid

1968   Sharpness                Severn Railway Bridge demolished

1969   Severn                    Regent tanker barges ceased trading on the Severn

1969   Severn                    Bowker & King Limited began trading in the Bristol Channel

1970   Jackfield                  Maws Tile Works at Jackfield closed

1972   Gloucester               Construction began of a new Westgate Bridge

1974   Gloucester               Construction completed of the new Westgate Bridge

1975   Gloucester               John Harker Limited ceased trading on the Severn

1977   Severn Estuary         Severn Auxiliary Rescue Association [SARA] formed

1983   Jackfield                  Marshall Osborne foundry at Jackfield closed

1985   Llandinam                Llandinam won the best kept village in Wales title

1987   Gloucester               Llanthony Warehouse opened as the National Waterways Museum

1989   Severn                    The Severn Way [East Bank] officially opened

1992   Powys                     First Bridge on the Severn opened by Lady Hooson

1992   Shrewsbury             Three bridges built over the Severn on the huge Shrewsbury Bypass

1992   Severn Estuary         Construction began on the Second Severn Crossing

1994   Gloucester               Priday Metford & Co closed down the flour mill at the City Flour Mills

1996   Severn Estuary         The Second Severn Crossing officially opened on the 5th June by HRH Prince                                        Charles

1999   Gloucester               Construction began on replacing Westgate Bridge with new bridge

2007   Gloucester               20th July: 90mm of rain fell over city and caused widespread local flooding.

2007   Tewkesbury             22nd July: Mythe Waterworks out of action due to Severn flood levels.

2007   Gloucester               July and August, Gloucester and Cheltenham without domestic water for                                        some time

2014   River Severn            Record amount of rain fell over SW England for January & February. Many                                        areas flooded.


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